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Policy backgrounder

How do the Canada Response Benefit (CRB) and the temporary EI changes impact social assistance benefits in provinces and territories?

Published on 12/01/2021

This research looks at how the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) and the temporary Employment Insurance (EI) changes will impact social assistance recipients in each province and territory. The research is being carried out by John Stapleton and Anne Tweddle for Maytree. The information presented here comes from public service contacts in each jurisdiction.

The research is ongoing and we release it as an online spreadsheet (Google doc). Once finalized, we will publish the findings on this page. We’re publishing the initial results so that the information is accessible in the interim period.

Background:

The research answers the following questions:

  • How is the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) counted as income when assessing eligibility for social assistance?
  • How is EI counted as income when assessing eligibility for social assistance given the temporary EI changes? Will it be fully deducted from social assistance for existing recipients?
  • Do people who lose entitlement to social assistance cash benefits as a result of their EI or CRB income retain access to ancillary benefits (such as health benefits)?

Context:

  • The amount of social assistance someone can receive is based on how much income they have. If the CRB is included as income in social assistance calculations, recipients of social assistance who also receive the CRB would lose some or all of their social assistance income.
  • EI is usually counted as income when assessing social assistance eligibility. This means that for every dollar of EI someone receives, their social assistance allowance is reduced by a dollar.
  • Recipients of social assistance can often access non-cash benefits such as free prescription medications. If someone loses entitlement to social assistance because of their CRB or EI income, they may lose their entitlement to these ancillary benefits.

Access the preliminary findings (Google doc)

Summary

This research looks at how the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) and the temporary Employment Insurance (EI) changes will impact social assistance recipients in each province and territory.

Topic(s)

Income security, Poverty